- WSL / Ed Sloane

Sign the 30X30 petition at weareoneocean.org.

When she was five years old Courtney Conlogue's parents gave her the nickname "Lil Tiger" due to the vim and vigor with which she approached life. And while surfing led her down one path, her passion for the arts provided her with another path away from the pressures of competing.

Growing up in Orange County, California, while winning junior contests on the weekends, Conlogue spent her school days studying art and developing her skills in a variety of mediums. Worlds collided when she was 11 and painted her first surfboard. And when she eventually jumped on the Championship Tour, her parents carved out a little space in the garage of their home to build her a studio so she'd have a sanctuary to return to after the hectic pace of Tour life.

"When everything is just so busy and I'm so stressed or if I just need a little 'me time' to just think and get away, I go to my studio, grab a blank canvas and my palette and start painting," Conlogue told ESPN back in 2013. "It's a good healing technique."

Conlogue is also passionate about preserving and protecting the ocean and is a supporter of the We Are One Ocean campaign and a signer of the 30x30 petition, which calls for the protection of 30 percent of our one ocean by 2030.

After finishing runner-up to the World Title in 2015 and 2016, Conlogue found herself struggling with some injury issues in 2018 that temporarily sidelined her. As she's done most of her life, she leaned on her art to get her through the long recovery process.

When she returned to competition at the Vans US Open of Surfing, she spoke of finding "levity," and while the fire inside burned as hot as ever, her time in the studio had provided her with focus and a clear head space. She won the event in front of her hometown crowd, beating World Champ Stephanie Gilmore in the final.

Since then, Conlogue's returned to competitive form, launched her own brand called Sea Tiger (a nod to her early nickname), and has also taken it upon herself to share and teach others about art. She's already stood in front of a number of art classes, and now, as part of the We Are One Ocean campaign she's hosting a charcoal drawing class to inspire and bring beauty to the fight to save the world's seas.

And after you're done with the art lesson, be sure to add your name alongside Conlogue's on the 30x30 petition.

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